14
Jun
17

Rebels for Choice Press Release

241_women_from_Cork

Response by Cork pro-choice organisation Rebels for Choice to news that 241 women travelled from Cork for abortions in 2016

Spokeswoman Dr Sandra McAvoy said:

Three pieces of news this week make clear how important it is to repeal the 8th Amendment and implement the recommendations of a Citizens’ Assembly that fully understood the issues.

One is news is that, in 2016, a total of 3,265 women who gave addresses in the Republic travelled from Ireland to England and Wales to terminate their pregnancies. 241of them, 9 per cent of the total, gave Cork addresses. We need to end the hypocrisy involved in protecting women’s constitutional freedom to travel while at the same criminalising those who cannot afford to go to England and threatening them with up to 14 years in prison if they end their pregnancies on Irish soil.

Also, a UN Committee has ruled in the second case in a year taken against Ireland by a woman who received a diagnosis of a fatal foetal anomaly and was denied access to a termination. For a second time it has found that our state violated a woman’s rights to privacy, discriminated against her and subjected her to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in contravention of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. That issue is shaping up to be the equivalent to the Magdalene Homes and other abuse scandals and we cannot pretend we have not known about it for a long time. It is time for politicians to act and initiate simple repeal of the 8th Amendment.

It is impossible to legislate for all cases. That is why all major European democracies provide for women to have a right to choose to terminate their pregnancies, up to a certain stage, without having to disclose their reasons. Monday’s news of a young girl who was sectioned when she sought an abortion not only foregrounded the inadequacy of the provisions of the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, it also showed how that legislation may expose women to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by excluding them from decisions about their own bodies and well-being.

Until we repeal the 8th Amendment the shameful list of injustices visited on pregnant people will continue to grow.

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